Sunday, April 12, 2009

Rejuvenating the Elderly

The Prophet's (peace be upon him) teachings establish a high regard and respect for the elderly and rejuvenate in them feelings of hope and vigour during the sunset of their lives. Anas reported that the Prophet said: "If a young man supports an old man because of his old age, God will definitely assign people who will respect him when he is old" [Tirmidhi]. In fact, the Prophet of mercy went one step further and joined the respect of such people with the worship of God Himself by saying "it is part of venerating God to respect the elderly Muslim" [Abu Dawud].

He once related that "the Angel Gabriel commanded me to give priority to the elderly. he taught that 'when serving food and (at) ceremonies, the old must be taken care of first.' He said: "Start with the elderly'" [Abu Yala].

The merciful Prophet's regard and respect for the elderly went beyond the boundaries of religion. On the day of Victory of Makkah when the Prophet entered the sacred mosque, Abu Bakr brought his elderly polytheistic father to meet the Prophet of mercy. When he saw his companion's elderly father, he asked Abu Bakr: "Why didn't you leave him at home? I would have gone to him" [Ibn Kathir].

Compiled From:
"Mercy: Prophet Muhammad's Legacy To All Creation" - Ibrahim H. Malabari, pp. 48-50

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